Taking a look at the cabins of BMW's latest creation, the all-new Z4, and
Audi's most recent show car, the Sportback Concept, it seems that the
dashboards have been designed by the same person. Or, to avoid the term
'copy', one was inspired by the other. The partition is widely identical
and many lines run the same ways. The usage of materials might differ a
bit, but in general, there are clear not to say obvious similarities.
On the other hand, identical demands lead to similar results: Air vents
have to be positioned nearby the steering wheel to enable warming driver's
hands at cold winter days as well as a monitor must be close to the eyes to
keep refocusing time low. And of course, controls should be in reach. So
there is, at best, just a narrow range where things could be. Another
influence to looks is fashion, besides technology.
Organic shapes, for example, result in rounded edges. Furthermore there are
expectations to live up to. Customers would be disappointed about a large
bulky four-spoke steering wheel on a sporty car! So a smaller three-spoke
wheel is mounted to both. The same for the materials. Having wood and leather,
combined with some fine aluminium frames, is simply a must on high-end
Finally there is no need to reinvent something very good, unless it is
possible to make it even better. Seen in this light the fascias of the Audi and
the BMW are just interpretations of what is state of the art and en vogue at
the moment. No doubt, BMW was first (of the two). Basically we expected the A7,
which is introduced by the Sportback Concept, to get a cockpit similar to the
A6's. But maybe they'll put in something like that.